Mad King Creates Minimalist And Psychedelic Furniture Designs


Mad King (AKA Jake Johanson) is an artist, designer, former gallery owner, former semi-pro welterweight party person and a maker of beautiful and clever things. Some of the notable music producers who owns his original work include: Tipper, Proem, Miskate, Frivolous, {A}ppendics Shuffle, Edit, Stephen Beaupre, The Brandon Brown, Brian Mayhall, Jantsen, Time for trees, The Normal Ones, ((Diverse)), Equilli, and Eric McIntyre. He currently is living, dreaming, plotting, and scheming in Boulder, CO.

INTRODUCTION

I will be building a second site madkingproductions.co that I should have together before December to get some holiday sales for where I’m taking Mad King Productions. I’m going to be getting into making apparel this winter as well as just the yoga mats that I’ve been doing through society6. I’m currently working on a series of scarves with my apparel guy on the east coast using my sound wave techno mountain design that you can see on my society6 store. The apparel I’m going to be making will be just women’s clothes to start with, sexy dresses using some of my more minimalist and psychedelic designs. I also plan to be rolling out gicles in limited edition runs they will all be done in a limited edition of 100 and 25% of the proceeds will be going to a different non-profit every time. I do want to see us heading towards some type of “utopia” and a sustainable future. The best way I can support that vision is by creating and sharing the proceeds of my greatest gift which is creating.

Somewhere down the road when I have the resources and the proper space I will be doing the furniture in limited editions of 5 that might be brokered by galleries or just sold directly through my site. This current table is kind of unique compared to others I’ve done in the past in that it is not a commission piece. For me as an artist the amount of time and money involved for me to make any of my furniture designs is significant and before I make the commitment I usually like knowing that it has a home to go into as soon as I finish it.

I support myself and my studio mostly through making paintings and taking on commissions for paintings, art installations, and the occasional piece of furniture. I’m only painting kittens on mirrors for the rest of the year, because I think it’s funny and everyone loves a kitten including me. Here is my vimeo link that also includes the first three of four that I’ve made so far.

STUDIES

My father was a fine woodworker so I grew up around that and even worked with him professionally for a few years in my early twenties, mostly to clients in vail and aspen. As an artist, I’m more of an autodidact and have been doing it professionally since 04.04.04, which incidentally myself, the local community, and some friends around the globe celebrate annually on April 4th for International Mad King Day. Basically, for my “international holiday” we host some brunch, and then I have friends from around the globe make me DJ sets to play throughout the course of the day, anyone can celebrate it anywhere.



WORKING PROCESS

My paintings as well as how I achieved some of the effects on this table are built around the concept of masking and layering different layers of the composition. It’s only been since January of 2020 that I’ve started to work with mirrors, which brings in some technical challenges that I’ve enjoyed while I’ve been refining my process just for that medium. The first table in my “near infinite tables” was from a long time collector (also part of our local electronic music scene, Brooke of Equilli and founder of Nobot records) and he came to me with, “I’ve got a budget, how about you make something where you get to push your abilities”. I’ve got a significant backlog of art, design, and installation projects that I want to make, challenge for me have always been how to fund them… so my immediate response was, “oh, there is something I’ve been wanting to make.. I think you will like this”. He has later told me it is the coolest thing he owns.

I get up around 6 in the morning have my decaf coffee and a cigarette, occasionally start taking notes on what I need to accomplish for the day at that time (though often I don’t make that list till I get to the studio) do a half-hour of stretching and light exercise, swallow a fistful of vitamins and supplements, make a quart of smoothie that will be my lunch, hop into the car and head to the studio. When I get there (which is a coop called the Pheonix Asylum) I plug my computer into a pretty loud sound system and put on some techno/electronic music at high volumes. Have another cigarette, review my action list, and just get at it.

I usually work at the studio till about 5 or 6, come home and try to catch up on any emails or design work that I wasn’t able to get to for the day. Then make dinner and give myself an hour for either video game playing or reading comics (I don’t take in many other media)… then I get up and do the same routine the next day, seven days a week, and pretty blissed and joyful throughout my entire day. I do of course go out to get my dance on occasionally and host a pretty stellar bi-weekly brunch.




MATERIAL

This table was constructed out of maple, steel, glass, one way mirrored glass, mirror, tempera, enamel, and sculpted styrofoam for the koi. The koi aren’t set in a fixed position so they can be repositioned. The programmable RGBW lights are controlled by a MiBoxer controller, which can be configured to sync with any smart home set up.

INSPIRATION

This piece, the third in the series, is just me refining my process and this design with every iteration. Both as an artist and designer it is rare that I finish a project without some thought of how I could do it better and what lessons I learned that I will be taking forward into the next project. One of the things that keeps me engaged in the work I do is that I try to challenge myself with every project to do something new with materials, composition, color theory, or technique with every project.

I feel that as creatives we take inspiration from every direction all the time, in fact, we are constantly bombarded with it. We get to stand on the shoulders of giants with means available for us to create that is unprecedented in all of history. I like to tell people that I’ve got this one job, “to make things, make love, and inspire others to do the same”… which is my full-time job that I do my best to show up for every day.

WHERE TO SHOP?

This piece is available by contacting me on my portfolio website. Ideally, once this piece is sold I’d like to start taking orders for the next one, which I’m planning on constructing from bamboo and possibly incorporating an addressable lighting system powered off a raspberry pi. my current yoga mats and some nonlimited prints are available through my society6.




INFORMATION

Photography with courtesy of Christina Jackson

http://www.madkingart.com/


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